A former Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Mrs. Olufemi Fatunde, has been engaged to take over from Mr. Charles Adeogun-Phillips as the lead prosecuting counsel in the trial of a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta.
Justice Ngwuta is being prosecuted by the Federal Government before a Federal High Court in Abuja on charges of money laundering involving over N500m as well offences bordering on passport fraud.
Last Thursday, Adeogun-Phillips appeared in court announcing his withdrawal from the case.
But the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation on Sunday countered Adeogun-Phillips, saying the lawyer did not voluntarily withdraw, but was fired for alleged “unprofessional conduct”.
Adeogun-Phillips has since denied the allegation of unprofessional conduct, contending that the allegation was only raised after he challenged the prosecuting authorities on the handling of the N2.2bn fraud charges recently against three officials of the Supreme Court.
Following the development, Fatunde appeared in court on Monday, announcing her appearance as the lead prosecuting counsel in the trial.
But she told the trial judge that she was only briefed to take up the case two days ago.
She asked for an adjournment to enable her to study the file and interview prosecution witnesses.
Ngwuta’s lead defence counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), said he had no objection to the application.
The trial judge, Justice John Tsoho, then adjourned till March 16 and 17.